Someone told me that gay marriage has been accepted in New York.
When I heard it I said it was just a matter of time anyway â€“ soon the whole Western world will be ruled by hedonism. One might say that itâ€™s not hedonism, thatÂ no-oneÂ canâ€™t help it whether he loves boys or girls. But then again the fact that you are urged or inclined towards some preference doesnâ€™t automatically mean you should give in to it. Who is to say that there is not some Nobility in struggling against the preferences we find in ourselves, should we judge them to be wrong?
The idea commonly established in the Western world is that convenience and pleasure should prevail above everything, and that no behaviour matters as long as it does not diminish the convenience or pleasures of others. This is the instinct that wins out in most people naturally, and also the Utilitarian philosophy that would inevitably prevail as soon as the Axis powers were defeated in World War II.
Utilitarianism in turn built itself up on the terms laid down by Hobbes: a form-expression of subjectivism. Donâ€™t judge – its best not to judge, we shouldnâ€™t judge other peopleâ€™s ideas, we should only react once they become violent. The attitude that we tolerate all value-judgements, all ethical systems, that all we ever condemn is violence. Or, otherwise conduct that we donâ€™t like, but we donâ€™t criticize or judge anyoneâ€™s ethical system as good or evil, better or worse.
The idea that convenience and pleasure should prevail above everything, and that no behaviour matters as long as it does not diminish the convenience or pleasures of others, can also be referred to as pluralism. It rests on the core notion that no code of conduct or idea for a human aspiration is intrinsically more worthwhile than another. Therefore, so it would follow, we might all be best off pursuing the impulses we are endowed with by nature, to seek happiness in the pursuits of temporary pleasures.
In turn, one might argue that the natural urge to pursue temporary pleasures was instigated by nature to sustain life inÂ its most primitive level: If we wouldnâ€™t have received pleasure stimulation from tasty foods and cute girlies, we wouldnâ€™t have been here today to begin with. Yet, as we moved past that level we developed intelligence to give us further answers to further life. And with it came ideas such as Honour, Reverence, Destiny, Perseverance, Prestige, Transcendence, Heroism, Duty, Serenity and Ascendancy. Yet today these ideas would be declared as subjective value-constructions with little tangible benefit.
These ideas would therefore be reserved for the private domain where people will be free to indulge at them without larger consequence. Whereas totalitarian systems of Europe in the 20th century took these concepts and made them the centre of the political stage, the education system, and through the gleichschaltung of every part of society at large. However these regimes perished in flames, and with them their visions of life.
Today, someone finally asked me whether the situation could be turned around or if we would perish with those principles.
As far as I can tell that would be hard, because you would have to convince people that there should be legislation against sodomy, adultery, bestiality and otherwise dishonourable conduct. But then people would say that this is a grey field of opinion, and that it really isn’t clear how society takes damage from these activities. People would argue that you were merely trying to use the legislative powers to make your subjective preferences for human aspirations into rule of law.
To express yourself you would have to speak in a vocabulary which has not pleasure-pursuit but living up to worthiness as the centre thought, and that is an aristocratic vocabulary your audience would feel estranged by.
What it comes down to is that people who take as their stance in life that the human being has a Higher Purpose to live up than merely to follow whatever impulses and desires well up in him, are a select few members of a dying breed. And through egalitarianism and democracy their voices will be drowned by the chattering of the masses and the TVâ€™s. And thatâ€™s how History will end â€“ not with a bang, but with a whimper.